Show cover of Live Inspired Podcast with John O'Leary

Live Inspired Podcast with John O'Leary

Expected to die, today he’s inspiring others to truly live. World-renowned inspirational speaker + national bestselling author John O’Leary wants to help you wake up from accidental living so you can do, be, achieve and impact more through your life. Every Monday, John shares a quick burst of inspiration to help start your week on fire. Every Thursday, John interviews an amazing guest on their story, successes, failures, lessons, and life to help you uncover tips to apply in yours.


From Juvenile Offender to Mentor: Bobby Bostic’s Redemption After a 241-Year Prison Sentence (ep. 624)
In 1995, a 16-year-old Bobby Bostic found himself caught up in a series of poor choices including robbery and armed criminal action. Judge Evelyn Baker, convinced he was a lost cause, handed down a jaw-dropping 241-year sentence on him, parole only becoming a glimmer of hope at the ripe age of 112. While serving the longest sentence in Missouri for a non-homicide juvenile offense, Bobby didn't crumble. Instead, he evolved, showed significant remorse for his actions and began reshaping what his future could hold. Today, after serving 27 years of his sentence, Bobby is embracing his shot at redemption by teaching writing workshops at juvenile detention centers and using his story to mentor kids to keep them out of trouble. Join me as Bobby shares his journey in navigating an unlikely path to freedom, fostering a reconciling connection with the judge who initially sent him away, and revealing the transformative power that liberates us from the shackles of our mistakes. My friends, it’s easy to criticize others for their sins, crimes and missteps. And yet, when we delve into the narratives that precede those missteps, an empathic heart emerges. This episode is a reminder that our past doesn't have to be our defining chapter. And that even in the face of adversity, the best is yet to come.
47:57 11/30/23
Are You On Fire For Good? (Monday Moment ep. 623)
Regardless of where the event is, how large the group is, or what the makeup of the crowd is, I love the audiences we get to serve. By the end of our brief time together, there is always a connection, always a bond. That shared experience and exchange of energy is what makes this work truly life-giving. It’s also why I leave each room with more friends than when I walked in. So to describe the feeling I had this weekend taking the stage at On Fire For Good, looking out at an audience that I ALREADY know and love as friends, and knowing that thousands more were watching from their own homes is difficult to put into words. But I’ll try. Friends, I love you and there is nothing you can do about it. Let’s continue the work of reminding the world that the most powerful weapon on earth is the human spirit on fire.
05:45 11/27/23
Do You Need a New, Meaningful Thanksgiving Tradition? (ep. 622)
I consider Thanksgiving one of my favorite family holidays. It's certainly a wonderful time away from work, enjoying good food, viewing football, and taking inventory of the many blessings in life. Join me as I share a tradition I've been implementing at my family feast the last few years. Today's episode will ignite an abundance of gratitude and help you celebrate Thanksgiving on fire.
07:47 11/23/23
Are you a Turkey Person? (Monday Moment ep. 621)
Are you a turkey person? And no, I’m not talking about the makeup of your Thanksgiving dinner plate this week. I’m talking about a question that when asked the first time went on to change the life of the individual that heard it. And years later when I heard it, did the same for me. It’s a question that’s poised to reframe not just our understanding of what it means to serve and love others but one that can transform the effort we bring to our relationships, our work and our purpose in the world. Think I’m exaggerating? Take a listen.
06:06 11/20/23
I Live Giving: Brad Formsma (ep. 620)
In 2007, Brad Formsma had an idea to inspire people around the globe to live generously. After selling his landscaping company, Brad became the Founder & President of I Like Giving, a movement which has inspired more than 125 million people in 170 countries to live generously. Today, Brad joins us to share practical ideas and inspiring stories on how we can use our thoughts, words, money, influence, time, attention, and belongings to live generously and create generosity ripples in our own community. My friends, you’ll leave this conversation inspired to become more others-focused, and be reminded of how simple actions will make a long-lasting impact in our lives.
53:46 11/16/23
Saying Yes (Monday Moment ep. 619)
Each year, my four children join their dad for one-to-one time on a work trip. It’s sacred time we get to spend together and is affectionately known as their “daddy trips.” Each child looks at my schedule, chooses where they want go, and plans out absolutely everything we do once we get there. Today, just a day before my oldest turns 18 years old, I  treasure important life lessons Jack has taught me, one of the most important being how much better life gets when I simply say “Yes” to the opportunities and experiences all around me.
04:19 11/13/23
Kwame Alexander: Why Fathers Cry at Night (ep. 618)
Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, and New York Times bestselling author of 39 books.  Known for his unique style of blending poetry and prose to create engaging and relatable stories for young readers, Kwame has earned countless awards including a Newbery Medal for The Crossover and The Caldecott Medal for The Undefeated - the two most prestigious honors for children’s authors! Today, Kwame joins us to share powerful excerpts from his most recent book, an intimate and non-traditional memoir titled Why Fathers Cry at Night. Hear lessons from his journey of learning how to love, how brokenness and beauty can play together as one and what that means in our story. My friends, this conversation will inspire bravery and vulnerability in all of us who have experienced the passion, heartbreak, failure, and joy of love.
46:41 11/8/23
Be Yourself. Be Perfectly You. (Monday Moment ep. 617)
It’s been a seven-year journey. Constant challenges and significant setbacks. An amazing community of friends showing up right on time with their financial investments, their connections, their ideas, their prayers and their encouragement to propel the effort forward. Today, at 9 a.m., on the set of the forthcoming feature film On Fire, Director Sean McNamara will bark out for the first time the words, “And………Action!” My friends, from financing to filming, every part of this has been a wild ride—some of which I have shared, much I have not. But nothing has been as surreal as selecting actors to play real life characters. Roles required for the movie include a Hall-of-Fame announcer named Jack Buck, two incredible parents, a brilliant physician, passionate nurses, and an important custodial member.  We filled roles for my siblings and friends, baseball players and fire fighters, bartenders and inmates. (Yeah, you gotta see the movie). Dozens of roles had to be filled. So, which role yielded the most auditions?
05:19 11/6/23
Love Your Kids Without Losing Yourself | Dr. Morgan Cutlip (ep. 616)
As a psychotherapist and relationship expert, Dr. Morgan Cutlip is on a mission to help women feel empowered in all of their relationships so that they feel whole, light, and deeply connected to those they love. To date, Morgan has helped more than 100,000 moms regain their sanity and prevent burnout. Today, Morgan shares her wisdom around how to prioritize your life, the myth around a permanent resting state of balance, the important of focusing on the good instead of the ways we fall short… and so much more. My friends, whether you’re a parent or caregiver, or love someone who is, this conversation reminds each of us that we have the agency to make changes that can lead to massive transfer transformation in your relationships.
56:49 11/2/23
Ditch Those Masks! (Monday Moment ep. 615)
This time of year, masks are mainstream for kids and adults alike. Halloween gives us an excuse to lean into childlike playfulness, get dressed up for a night and be someone radically different than we typically are. I love Halloween. And I love getting dressed up for it. But for many of us, masking our true selves isn’t reserved for once a year. For many, it’s Halloween all the time. Let me explain.
05:19 10/30/23
TV Titan Behind Hell's Kitchen and American Ninja Warrior: Arthur Smith (ep. 614)
Arthur Smith is famous for his innovation and audacity, and as the man behind some of the longest-running unscripted series in television history. His groundbreaking hit Hell's Kitchen forged the modern food competition reality genre, while his Emmy-nominated American Ninja Warrior has spawned a cultural movement, with Ninja-inspired gyms in every major American city. Today, Arthur shares adventures, triumphs, and hard-won lessons in his journey from a shy, introverted nine-year-old boy to climbing the ranks of sports production to become the youngest-ever head of CBC Sports, Canada’s premiere sports broadcaster. My friends, this conversation is a reminder of just how far you can go when you work hard, take risks, and reach for your dreams.
57:14 10/26/23
What Kind of Friend Are You? (Monday Moment ep. 613)
On the afternoon of May 20, several thousand St. Louis University graduates would receive their diplomas. Thousands of parents, siblings and loved ones would fill an arena cheering for them. Everyone in the arena excitedly looking forward to this day they’ve worked a lifetime to achieve.  Everyone except one: The commencement speaker. Although I’ve delivered thousands of keynotes, each time I deal with a bit of anxiety and self-doubt. Leading up to the day of the commencement address, those fears were almost debilitating. And yet at 6:14am that day while pacing in my living room, the anxiety and self-doubt faded. A single text message showed up and transformed my anxiety into peace and my fear into gratitude. Let me explain.
07:23 10/23/23
Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty (ep. 612)
Willie Robertson is a remarkable example of entrepreneurship and dedication built on hard work, faith, and family. Serving as CEO of Duck Commander and Buck Commander and star of A&E’s Duck Dynasty, Willie has expanded his family companies from a living room operation to a multi-million-dollar enterprise and destination for all things outdoors. Today, Willie shares how his father Phil overcame the shadows of his past to achieve an unexpected redemption, their journey from profoundly humble beginning to building a corporate empire built on faith and family, and so much more. My friends, whether you’re familiar with the Duck Dynasty family or not, you’ll love this humorous and redemptive conversation.
57:45 10/19/23
A Sword That Heals (Monday Moment ep. 611)
Political, spiritual, cultural and personal divides can at times seem insurmountable and far too complex for any one person to make a difference. But by choosing love over hate, understanding over prejudice, and dialogue over discord, we not only do what we can to honor the King legacy, but also fulfill the dream she shared with her husband.  A sword that heals—a force capable of mending the wounds of the past and shaping a future where justice, equality, and compassion reign supreme. Given the conflicts that have recently reared the grotesque head of violence around the world, savagely affecting innocent lives again, a long road remains in the pursuit of justice. Perhaps it’s time to reach for a sword that heals.
06:33 10/16/23
Martin Luther King III and Arndrea Waters King: Peace, Justice and Equity for All (ep. 610)
Martin Luther King III and Arndrea Waters King are dedicated to continuing the philosophy set forth by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and promote peace, justice and equity for all. As the oldest son of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King III is a thought leader on the world stage, a peacemaker, and a negotiator on some of today’s most critical national and international platforms for social change. Arndrea Waters King has dedicated herself to serving humanity as a passionate leader in the global fight against inequity, injustice, hate crimes, and all forms of pain. Throughout her life, Arndrea has consistently worked on behalf of those who have been marginalized by helping them find — and collectively use — their voices for change. Join us as Arndrea and Martin share how their continuing the King legacy, their work with the Drum Major Institute, and more. You’ll leave today’s conversation with a renewed sense of unity, faithfulness, togetherness, peace and ultimately forgiveness.
57:34 10/12/23
Have You Thought About Turning Your Story into a Movie? (Monday Moment ep. 609)
As a little boy, my dream was to fit in and be ordinary. Not to stand out, not to shine. I just wanted my scars to fade, fingers to grow back and normal life back. Which makes what I’m about to share even more stunning. If you would have asked 10-year-old John if he’d ever stand at the front of the room and talk about the most tender parts of his past in front of strangers, you would have gotten a hard no. Why would anyone want to hear it? If you’d asked if he would write a book about the hardest times in his life and the lessons learned? Again, no. Who would read it? What about turning his story into a movie? Nope. How would that even happen? And yet, my friends, the story of a little boy who should have died after being burned and then hid from those scars for decades has been shared thousands of times from the stage. It has inspired two best-selling books. And (are you sitting down?) is about to begin filming a full-length feature movie in my beloved hometown. Go ahead and read that again.  Yes, you read that right! ON FIRE is about to be made into a full-length feature movie and it’s being filmed in St. Louis! How’s that possible? Let me explain.
09:18 10/9/23
A Child Called It: Dave Pelzer (ep. 608)
Dave Pelzer endured years of unimaginable child abuse inflicted by his own mother, and yet emerged from the depths of despair to become a beacon of hope and resilience. In 1995, Dave courageously shared his harrowing experiences in his memoir, A Child Called It, a book that not only touched the hearts of millions but also achieved an unprecedented feat by remaining a New York Times bestseller for an astounding six years. Today, Dave has made it his life's mission to empower others to discover their inner strength, persevere through adversity, and unlock their fullest potential. Join us as Dave shares about the unimaginable torment he endured during those years of abuse and the pivotal roles his teachers played in his path to survival. He also delves into the profound and transformative journey of forgiveness, illustrating the incredible power it holds in healing the wounds of the past. My friends, this conversation is a reminder that no matter how dark your past may be, there is always a way to rewrite your own narrative and emerge from the shadows into a brighter, more resilient future.
47:04 10/5/23
Keeping Promises (Monday Moment ep. 607)
Sometimes the moments when we disappoint those we cherish the most can teach us the significance and value of keeping our word. The death of my beloved grandmother, a mistake I made afterwards, and an important lesson taught by my dad left an indelible impact on my life. Applying the lesson in your life might elevate not only your life, but also those to whom you make promises. Let me explain.
09:50 10/2/23
Phil Keoghan: Host of The Amazing Race and Tough as Nails
Phil Keoghan is arguably the most traveled television host on the planet. As the host of The Amazing Race, the multiple Emmy Award-winning reality series where teams of two embark on a trek around the world, Phil has experienced a life full of travel and adventure. Today, fresh off the milestone 35th season premiere of The Amazing Race, Phil joins us to share how he’s been globetrotting since a young boy, how his working-class parents and grandparents inspired his other hit show Tough as Nails and so much more. My friends, today’s conversation will inspire you to take risks, accept and love all of those around you, and live life to the fullest.
68:07 9/28/23
Sympathy is Easy, but Empathy Changes Hearts (Monday Moment ep. 605)
"Sympathy is easy because it comes from a position of power. Empathy is getting down on your knees and looking someone else in the eye, and realizing that you could be them, and that all that separates you is luck." -Dennis Lahane While on my knees next to my fallen dad several years ago, I thought of this quote. Dad has been living with Parkinson’s disease for almost three decades. Over this time, he’s lost the ability to walk, drive and earn. It’s difficult for my dad to speak and lately, becoming more difficult to swallow. And yet today, Dad, seated in his trusty wheelchair, is the perfect embodiment of the joy we all wish we possessed. Let me explain.
06:38 9/25/23
Positive Caregiving with Dr. Sarah Teten Kanter (ep. 604)
Each day, more than 54 million Americans are responsible for serving as a caregiver for a loved one. Three decades with Parkinson’s disease has made movement for my father Denny O’Leary nearly impossible. But with the help of another person, guiding him from spot to spot, supporting him in the shower, assisting as he gets dressed, and guiding a wheelchair from room to room, the absolute impossible becomes possible. And this care happens all day, every day. For Dad, the person doing all that work is my mother, Susan O’Leary. She’s remarkable, and she’s not alone.  Often caregiving is a burden to bear and a problem to be solved. And yet as an expert in gerontology, Dr. Sarah Teten Kanter is on a mission to make caregiving and care receiving a time to savor and an opportunity for personal growth. Today, Sarah shares the simple activities, conversation-inspiring questions, and self-care practices designed to immerse caregivers and their care partners in gratitude, empathy, forgiveness, love, and awe. Why these five specific emotions? By exuding these positive emotions, it’s been shown to improve health, reduce stress and create meaning in daily life in the relationships of caregivers and care receivers. My friends, this conversation reminds us to embrace the full gift of life at every stage and every age.
52:12 9/21/23
Come and See (Monday Moment ep. 603)
After years of traveling, hundreds of podcast interviews, and innumerable impromptu conversations on airplanes, I’ve met some of the most remarkably talented and inspirational people in the world. I’ve heard life stories that filled me with hope and reminded me we all have the potential to be used for good. To ensure we kick off the upcoming holiday season right, I’m hosting a live event that you can attend in my hometown of St. Louis or stream virtually anywhere around the world. The evening will be part storytelling, part concert, and all heart. It will bring together the very best of those I’ve met on one stage to remind the rest of us of our ability to positively change the world — starting with our own. This experience, On Fire For Good, will fill your heart with gratitude, prepare you for the coming holiday season, and remind you that your best is yet to come.  We want you to share it with us. Not sure if you can make it?  Not sure it will be worth your time? Not sure if the message will resonate with you?  Not sure if you’ll be back from your black Friday shopping spree? Come and see. My friends, in the busyness of the holiday season and the chaotic nature of our lives, this experience will remind you what matters most, reinforce the beauty of your story, and absolutely set you On Fire For Good. Join me the Saturday after Thanksgiving, November 25th, at 7 p.m. either in our live audience in St. Louis or our virtual audience by livestreaming wherever you are that night. It will be an evening of inspiration, celebration, and community.
06:38 9/18/23
Kelly Corrigan: Tell Me More (ep. 602)
Kelly Corrigan is a celebrated storyteller and New York Times bestselling author of Tell Me More, Glitter and Glue, The Middle Place and more. As the host of PBS' Tell Me More with Kelly Corrigan and the creator of the popular podcast Kelly Corrigan Wonders, Kelly shares insightful conversations with thought leaders, pulling out poignant lessons others can use to find their own calling or better understand themselves. Today, Kelly joins us to share her heartfelt wisdom and profound lessons on love, parenting, self-discovery, and the importance of laughter in thoughtful reflection. Do you want to be inspired to think more, feel more, do more and be better? This conversation is for you.
65:19 9/14/23
Respond to Fear and Hatred with Love and Unity (Monday Moment ep. 601)
Today, on this 22nd anniversary of the September 11th attacks , choose to treasure the simple moments, celebrate our shared humanity, and act with a bit more kindness, compassion, and hope in a global marketplace that still aches for it. Choose to recognize the immeasurable value of your life - and the lives of those you encounter. And choose to believe the little things you do matter. Because, ultimately, our children will receive the future we’ll be giving.
06:38 9/11/23
A Life Redeemed: Jeff Allen's Journey to Meaningful Life (ep. 600)
Over the past four decades, Jeff Allen has been recognized for his clean, family-friendly comedy celebrating everyday life, the ups & downs of marriage, the challenge of raising children, the bliss of the empty nest, the joys of being a grandparent and more. Known for coining the phrase "happy wife, happy life," Jeff believes that his story, though not without its challenges, can provide hope and encouragement to those who feel frustrated, empty, and unfulfilled. Today, Jeff candidly shares some of his darkest moments, his journey to hitting rock bottom and how he overcome addiction and despair to find the joy in life and a strengthened relationship with God. My friends, this conversation is a reminder that no matter how dark and difficult life may seem, there is always hope that the best of our days remain ahead of us.
53:33 9/7/23
Will You Reach Out in Love? (Monday Moment ep. 599)
At age 10, a painful experience revealed how broken, disabled, and imperfect I was. A conversation with my mother afterward, though, challenged me to never believe lies that cheapen the blessing of my life. And heeding her advice positively changed my life. Let me explain.
08:06 9/4/23
Turning Challenges into Comedy Gold: Zach Anner (ep. 598)
Zach Anner is an award-winning comedian, TV writer, disability advocate and viral sensation (with over 100 millions views on social media!). After winning "Oprah's Search for the Next TV Star" competition, Zach hosted a travel show called Rollin' with Zach on the OWN network. In the show, he traveled around the United States, exploring different cities and engaging with the local culture and activities. Today, Zach shares how he’s learned to not let his cerebral palsy define him or his goals, how he faces his numerous challenges with the utmost resilience and positivity, and so much more. If you’re looking for an uplifting conversation packed with humor, heart, edginess and determination, this episode is for you.
49:39 8/31/23
Someone Who Can Never Repay You (Monday Moment ep. 597)
It is in our smallest gestures that the biggest difference can sometimes be seen. This week, look for a chance to do something for someone who can never repay you. Pay attention at the grocery store, at work, in the school pickup line or across your fence and wait for that ripple effect.
04:42 8/28/23
Finding Joy in the Midst of Transition: Bruce Feiler (ep. 596)
For more than two decades, Bruce Feiler has explored the intersection of families, relationships, health, and happiness, and is one of America’s most thoughtful voices on contemporary life. He is the author of seven New York Times bestsellers, including Life is in the Transitions, The Secrets of Happy Families, and Council of Dads. His three TED Talks have been viewed more than four million times. Known for living the experiences he writes about, Bruce shares his timeless wisdom and timely knowledge to allow each of us to live with more meaning, passion, and joy.  My friends, today’s conversation truly has something for everyone, no matter where you are on the wave of constant change.
64:24 8/24/23
Four Questions to Help You Find Joy in Your Day (Monday Moment ep. 595)
After a summer of buses and teachers and students hibernating, can we create the space where our young people share more honestly and expansively their experiences, their thoughts, and their feelings? How can we connect more closely with the little ones that matter most to us, and in doing so reinforce within them the priceless value of their life? Instead of asking how their day was, consider a nightly routine of asking these four questions. Let me explain.
06:01 8/21/23

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